Tag Archives: Cake

Baking Chez Moi: Double-Corn Tea Cake

DSC_0221.jpgCorn has been important to people living on Turtle Island past and present. We’ve been growing a garden with seeds from Native Seeds and trying to grow corn as part of a three sisters garden much to some lucky wild rodent’s delight.  Earlier this year I watched Seed: The Untold Story on PBS that featured Native Seeds/SEARCH that focused on crop diversity and the use of native seeds and had a great portion on corn.  If you get the opportunity to watch it I would highly recommend it while also caution some common sense on a few portions where some dubious scientific research is mentioned. I’ve been trying to learn about the variety of three sisters (corn, beans and squash) available to grow as well as eat.  It was great to bake a recipe that only used corn flour, an item I wasn’t even aware existed.DSC_0229.jpgDSC_0230.jpgThe recipe was a simple loaf with buttery goodness, corn and a hint of spice from coriander.  Once my corn kernels were cut and steamed in the microwave it all came together pretty quickly.  We were out of baking spray so this became completely gluten free with butter and corn flour used to grease the pan.DSC_0234.jpgI got a large dent in the middle of my cake and the corn kernels seems to have sunk to the bottom of the loaf so I was a little worried.DSC_0237.jpgDSC_0240.jpgDSC_0236.jpgIt ended up slicing up a beautiful sunny color with great flavor and texture. I’m completely intrigued with what else I could use the corn flour for and can’t wait to come up with some items.  I really enjoyed this as a summer time treat although I might skip the fresh corn next time.



Baking Chez Moi: Granola Cake

I’ve been kind of dreading making granola cake since I first got Baking Chez Moi.  For some reason it just didn’t seem very appetizing.  So glad my fears were completely misplaced for this one.DSC_0002.jpgThis recipe had a bit more ingredients than usual with the strangest being granola.  Fortunately I had recently made a batch of Garland’s granola from Sharing the Table.  It is so, so good and simple to make.DSC_0005.jpgI tried to break up the biggest clumps in my granola and I used the unsweetened coconut flakes you can get at Sprouts.  I love the unsweetened flakes, they have a great taste without the scratchy texture of sugared and shredded coconut.DSC_0009.jpgEverything came together pretty quick and I was starting to feel hopeful about the taste because everything smelled so good.  My batter was the consistency of a chocolate chip cookie dough.DSC_0012.jpgI was pretty nervous after getting this into the pan because I really had to spatula the batter into the pan rather than pour it.DSC_0013.jpgI took the cake out before the timer went off because it just smelled ready to me.  It kind of looked like a giant cookie in the pan.DSC_0017.jpgDSC_0020.jpgThe cake came out of the pan looking a lot more like a cake or maybe kind of like a bar.  I had it with some early gray tea and the cake was so good.  Dense and chewy texture with great flavor.  Almost like a brownie in a way.  This recipe will definitely go into my rotation for when I have some homemade granola hanging around.



Baking Chez Moi: Cornmeal and Berry Cakes

DSC_0926.jpgSometimes the season dictates the mood.  Such is the case with these cornmeal and berry cakes. A few simple ingredients, a little sugar and some tart berries and lemon make a nice little summer cake.  I didn’t have the exact size of mini loaf pan specified so went with the alternative cupcake size that worked perfectly with some neat papers I had.DSC_0887.jpgMostly this recipe calls for things I already have in my kitchen although maybe not in this particular combination.  I used the typical cornmeal that I would use for corn bread but it added a little extra touch of grit since it wasn’t soaked like my typical recipe.  It worked out ok though since I enjoy the bit of crunch.  DSC_0889.jpgThe sugar is rubbed with the lemon and without the wonderful brightness of the lemon I doubt I would have enjoyed these so much.DSC_0894I wasn’t so sure about the raspberries but ended up enjoying their tartness with this recipe.  I’m very tempted to try these with strawberries or blueberries too.DSC_0895.jpgMy chickens aren’t in the laying mood with our hot, hot heat here in Phoenix at the moment but I still had a few from cooler weather.DSC_0907.jpgI’m still getting used to the stand mixer Scott and a few friends convinced me to buy.  I’m pretty happy overall and it worked out pretty great for this recipe.  This cake calls for a fruity olive oil and while the one on hand wasn’t the fruitiest it is locally produced and pretty tasty.  DSC_0908.jpgI have a bad habit of collecting cupcake papers and was so glad to have re-discovered these in my cupboard.  Sunny and summery they are too cute.DSC_0915.jpgStruggled a little but to fill these just right.  In the end it didn’t matter as the berries sunk to the bottom and every turned out all right.  The tall papers also add some extra forgiveness.DSC_0919.jpgI added the optional lemon glaze on half the cakes after taste testing a plain one.  I liked them plain but the little extra lemon and sweetness made them just about perfect.DSC_0924.jpgThese little cakes definitely have a unique texture.  I’m sure you could increase/decrease the grittiness based on the grind of cornmeal or add some soaking time.  I ended up liking the little bit of crunch with berry softness and yummy lemon.  Pretty easy and quick for a nice little summer bake.


Baking Chez Moi: Betty’s Chocoholic Cake and Tarte Tropezienne


Life has been busier than usual and I’ve found myself dog piling both my monthly recipes into one post.  I caved in and bought a Kitchen Aid mixer and I’m finding there is a bit of a learning curve.

Betty’s Chocoholic Cake

This recipe called for a ridiculous amount of butter and made for a very rich cake.DSC_0578.jpgThe batter was a fairly simple mix of mostly butter, egg and chocolate.DSC_0582.jpgDSC_0593.jpgI’m definitely learning how powerful a stand mixer is the hard way.  My layers baked up quite bubbly.  Luckily after assembly with the chocolate ganache it wasn’t all that noticeable.  White chocolate curls seem to cover a multitude of bubbly sins.DSC_0606.jpgI was worried this would be too rich and I would prefer my slice with a little dollop of sour cream.  However, the taste testers seemed to have no problem making their way through and it got pretty rave reviews.  I would definitely save this for a special occasion.DSC_0621.jpg

Tarte Tropezienne

Everything about this cake was simple yet luxurious.  I think it’s worth keeping the cupboards stocked with orange-flower water and pearl sugar so this can be made through the summer.DSC_0566I love tend to love yeast-risen baked goods and this cake was no exception.  The batter was quite thick and it would have been quite the challenge to make without a stand mixer.DSC_0574.jpgThis cake was perfect to make on a warm Arizona day.  My house is the perfect temperature to rise dough and when it is time to make the cake it doesn’t take all that long in the oven.DSC_0595 (1).jpgDSC_0628.jpgDSC_0641.jpgMy baked cake turned out beautiful and I even cut it easily.  Things went a little awry after filling when I put the cake top turned to the wrong side.  Trying to correct it only made things goofier.  Luckily the great taste and texture overcame the wonky visual result.DSC_0645.jpgWe loved this cake.  The crunchy pearl sugar and flavored cream were perfect with the brioche dough.  I feel like I will be making it several times this summer.DSC_0650.jpg




Baking Chez Moi: Matcha Financiers & Odile’s Fresh Orange Cake

Matcha Financiers

Sometimes the oddest combinations make the best of flavor friends.  Such is the case with the matcha financiers.


The ingredients look pretty innocuous but if you look close you’ll notice the little tin of matcha green tea.  This bright and bitter ingredient makes these little cakes both odd and extremely tasty.


The batter looks completely unappetizing.  Particularly in my pink mixing bowls.


They baked up into strange green little mushrooms.


The cakes are tender with a nice little crust.  The sweet nuttiness goes surprisingly well with the green tea bitter and bold.


I thought this sweet little green treat might be a tough sell but turns out the flavor won everyone over.  These turned out to be pretty easy to make and a nice little treat.

Odile’s Fresh Orange Cake

We’re always blessed with an abundance of citrus as our neighborhood was built on an old citrus farm.  The company still has a little shop on our road and has been in business since 1937.  The only issue is that many of our fruit isn’t the picture perfect citrus you often see but rather was intended to be juiced and contains quite a bit of seeds.


The batter was quite curdled to the point it made me a bit nervous about the final product.DSC_0021.jpg

I made syrup for this and tried poaching orange slices as well.  However the seeds I had removed left big holes and a lot of my slices either dissolved or looked pretty terrible.  I ended up with orange slice freckles on top of my cake.

DSC_0030.jpgDSC_0049.jpgDSC_0050.jpgDSC_0065.jpgI was a little concerned over the appearance of the cake but took it along to my neighbor’s Sunday afternoon cook out anyways.  Everyone loved the cake.  It was fresh and perfect for a warm Arizona day.  If I make this again I might experiment with some candied peel for decoration or poach some grapefruit slices and have this be a citrus cake instead of just an orange one.


Baking Chez Moi: Fluted Carrot-Tangerine Cake

DSC_0905.jpgI couldn’t be more thrilled that the Baking Chez Moi recipes are citrus themed this month.  I’m always looking for ways to use up my delicious bounty of tangerines, tangelos, lemons and grapefruit.


The ingredients for this cake were pretty simple.  I didn’t have the right size quiche pan so I went a little off script and used a fluted oval baker.  It changed the baking times a little bit but it looked pretty and didn’t burn.


Everything about this cake was bright and light.  Such a cheerful cake, like baking with sunshine.


I was surprised how much I like this cake.  It was bright and sweet and a nice little treat.  Our tangerines were quite sweet this year so I don’t think I would make a glaze again unless they were a little more tart.


This was a great cake to start off the baking year.  I can’t wait to see what else this year brings to my kitchen.


Baking Chez Moi: Rhubarb Upside Down Brown Sugar Cake

Title Rhubarb Slice

Rhubarb pie is one of my husband Scott’s favorite desserts.  It was one of his grandmother’s specialties and as many as I have made and as much as he’s enjoyed them I don’t think they can ever quite compare.  I’ve experimented with a few other rhubarb recipes but before now have never found anything that could compete.

Rhubarb Ingredients

I was very much in luck for this recipe since my local farmer’s market had rhubarb. My grocery stores carry rhubarb but it is almost always in bad shape. Luck was with me and I hit the season just right for this recipe.

Peeling RhubarbChopping Rhubarb

As much as I’ve tinkered with rhubarb I’ve never peeled it before.  I was pretty nervous but it wound up being incredibly easy and I think I’m going to use this trick going forward.

Sugared Rhubarb

Cooking Rhubarb

The recipe suggests saving the sugar that results from sugaring the rhubarb and I did just that.  It was pretty nice with a little champagne.  I wish I had thought ahead to try a few mixed drinks-maybe next time.

Cooked Rhubarb in Pan

Once the rhubarb is soft it goes into the top of the pan.  I was definitely on the verge of having my rhubarb go to mush but saved it in time and it held together great in the pan.

Orange Zest in Batter

The recipe suggested the zest of an orange as an optional ingredient.  I went for it and loved the resulting flavor in the cake but it was so distinctive i couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like without it.  Almost like a different cake entirely I imagine.

Batter on Rhubarb

Once the batter is mixed up is goes on top of the cooked rhubarb and into the oven.

Cake from the Oven

Now for the scary part: flipping the cake onto the platter.  I was so lucky that it came right out for the most part and I only had a few tiny pieces of rhubarb to put back on top.

Flipped Rhubarb

Steaming Rhubarb Cake

The cake smelled amazing with lovely rhubarb steam coming off but it definitely needed a touch of jelly.  I couldn’t find any that were suggested but I figured strawberry was a classic accompanying taste and would give it some lovely red color.

Adding Jelly

Final Cake with Jelly

The final product wasn’t so impressive on it’s own but once some whipped cream and strawberries were added it had the extra oomph it needed.

Finished Cake

Up Close Finished Rhubarb

Final Pic Rhubarb

The resulting cake was very interesting.  Somewhat of a sweet and sour play that felt just right with our warm weather.  As much as I enjoyed this cake I will save making it again until I can find fresh rhubarb again at my market.  The rhubarb is such a star in this I feel like it begs for the best quality.